June 25 will be here before you know it and with that, so will the Big 3 league. The draft was the latest step in the launch of Ice Cube’s exciting 3-on-3 basketball league, filled with former NBA players.
With almost two months to go before the first games, the draft gave us the eight rosters that will spend time practicing together and figuring out how best to take on this eight-week schedule.
Prospective players were put through a pre-draft combine to prove they’ve still got it, and team captains made their draft picks only after carefully measuring who best can contribute.
In addition to getting back into game shape and learning how to mesh with their new teammates, the retired NBA players who are taking part in the Big3 will also need to learn some new rules because this 3on3 league has some unique twists.
For instance, there will be a four-point circle located 30 feet from the hoop. If a player gets fouled while shooting a two, they’ll head to the free throw line for ONE shot worth two points. If they get fouled shooting a three, they get one shot from behind the arc for the chance to get three points.
Rashad McCants was selected by the Trilogy (a team run by Kenyon Martin and Al Harrington) with the No. 1 overall pick in the BIG3 draft. McCants was a standout player at North Carolina before being selected in the first round of the 2005 NBA draft. He played for the Minnesota Timberwolves and Sacramento Kings from 2005 to 2009. It was a good start to the roster for a team that later added James White and Dion Glover.
No Sprewell and Francis
Sprewell and Steve Francis were two notable former NBA players who weren’t chosen in Sunday’sdraft. Sprewell can still be put into the free agent pool if he provides the necessary documentation from a physician, according to a league rep. But he missed the deadline for the draft. Sprewell, 46, wouldn’t have been the oldest player drafted Sunday, since 48-year-old Mahmoud Adbul-Rauf was chosen by 48-year-old coach Gary Payton.
The biggest name who was considered snubbed in the draft is former Rookie of the Year and three-time NBA All Star Steve Francis. Despite being available and even attending the Big 3 League Draft Combine, his name was surprisingly not selected and will become a free agent instead. Free agents can be scooped up by teams in case of injuries.
Early Favorites to Win It All
1.The Killer 3’s
The Killers are loaded. This team is just stacked. Billups and Jackson — who absolutely should be the BIG3 MVP favorite — are less removed from their NBA playing days than most of the captains. The role players are perfect fits, too: Evans should grab every available rebound, Hughes at his best was a defensive force with offensive versatility, and Cook can knock down an open shot and is 6-10.
2. Three Headed Monsters
The backcourt of Abdul-Rauf and Williams is going to create havoc. Of course, they may not both be on the court together, since this is 3-on-3 and bigs might be able to take advantage. Either way, the game is not timed and first to 60 wins, so the constant barrage of quickness might tire out any team of vets.
3. Ball Hogs
Byars and Butler are sharpshooters who should have no problem extending their range to that special 4-point line. On top of that, McGuire (31), Byars (33) and Childress (33) make this one of the youngest teams, with no players over 40. This team will be my early favorites to hit the most 4 point shots in the season.